Spotlight: Karla Borges Furlaneto

When Karla Borges Furlaneto participated in the Global Ambassadors Program in Sâo Paulo in June 2013, her mentorship goals included wanting to contribute to a better society. Her belief was that by empowering women, we can collectively increase the number of individuals working for change.

At the same time, she was seeking a mentor with whom she could share her professional/personal conflicts and fears, someone who could help her to envisage ways and means of overcoming these challenges. In her introduction to the overall group, she said “I’m just a lawyer. I keep asking myself what I am doing here and why I have been chosen.”

By the fifth and last day of the program, we saw a complete transformation. In her own words, “By the end of the program, I knew exactly what I was doing there and I had no doubt why. Today I have a role to fulfill and the necessary confidence to do so.” 

Over and above the clarity that she gained from working with her own mentor, Lorena Diaz Quijano, within two months of the end of the program, Karla had been in contact with all of her fellow mentees and had established a legal support system, offering support to some of them in their businesses. She had already traveled to Brasilia to visit mentee Ana Katia Ferreira Conceicao at her Apoena headquarters, as well as to Rio de Janeiro to visit three fellow mentees: Maria Teresa Leal, co-founder of Coopa-Roca in Rocinha; social activist graffiti artist Panmela Castro and a number of the women and girls that Panmela works with at Nami Rede Feminista de Arte Urbana; and Daise Rosas da Natividade, director of EOSS Consulting Company working in the slum area of Cidade de Deus.

At this time, Karla had also begun making introductions between mentee Vera Golik, CEO of Fundo Infinito Comunicacao e Responsabilidade Social and a number of well positioned colleagues working within large companies to assist Vera with fundraising for her projects.

At each Global Ambassadors Program, we witness the beginnings of what we know will be strong and life-long friendships between mentees and mentors. Karla is a wonderful example of a woman leader who has recognized that her knowledge and skills can be shared with her fellow mentees to bring immense value to their organizations.